Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Llanfair Caereinion
Victorian school days
 
  All away for the harvest holidays  
 

Almost every entry in Victorian school Log Books or diaries starts with a comment on the number of children who come to school. The teachers were always complaining that many parents were not really interested in the education of their children, and were always finding jobs for them to do at home !
The most regular events which kept the older children away from school in country districts were the seasonal jobs on the farm, such as the hay harvest, potato planting, and sheep shearing.

 
23rd August
1872
School diary entry
Drawing by
Rob Davies

The summer holidays were called the "harvest holidays" for many years. The entry above is from Llangyniew National School Log Book from August 1872 -Haymaking boys
"The School breaks up today for the harvest holidays, viz [for example] for three weeks if the harvest be over; otherwise for a month - to be recommenced on the 13th or 20th of Sep[tember] - according to circumstances".
The early schools realised that the farmers would keep their children at home until the harvest was safely gathered in, so there would be no point in opening the school before then !
There are more examples of the problems with attendances at local schools in Victorian times on the next page...

Jobs to be done on the farm...

 

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